by Jim Mitchell

I’m too tired” the wife says, meaning too tired for sex of course.  But is that really what she means?

For many wives, yes, that is precisely what she means.  She’s tired… physically exhausted, in fact.  This is especially true for young mothers and women who work outside the home.  Any man who doubts this should try being “Mr. Mom” for a day.  Trust me, you’ll be begging for your regular job back in no time!

What a wife doesn’t mean by “I’m too tired” is some kind of indictment on her husband, though that’s often what he hears.

Despite a woman’s best intentions, studies show  that being physically tired is her most common sexual deterrent.  Add to this the fact that even when she is interested, it usually takes her considerably more time to “warm up” and this even further explains why sex can get left off the daily agenda.

She’s not just physically tired either.  Emotional fatigue can occur when a wife feels prolonged isolation and disconnection from her husband.  For her sex is built on a foundation of deep, regular, non-sexual romance, as Emerson Eggerichs writes in his book Love and Respect

“When Scripture speaks of ‘cleaving,’ the idea in the Hebrew is to cling, hold, or keep close… Cleaving, however, is more than sexual.  Cleaving also means spiritual and emotional closeness.  This is a salient passage for husbands–full of insight.  Your wife will feel loved when your move toward her and let her know you want to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile.” (p.125)

The wise husband, if he truly desires real sexual intimacy and not just immediate sexual gratification, will be a man who strives to carry a heavier share of the household chores to relieve her physical burden and who will invest in regular, meaningful conversation to make her feel cherished and secure.

In other words, healthy marital sex starts well before the physical.  To put it graphically, husbands, you need to penetrate her world… offer companionship… offer loving self-sacrifice.  She’s not too tired for that.